By Jed Lanyon
Healesville Hospital is seeking community support for the establishment of a wellness garden for patients and their families.
The new state-of-the-art facility provides outstanding care for the local community following a redevelopment in 2017.
An opportunity to implement a wellness garden to support recovery has been identified to further improve the experience for patients, their families and the wider community.
Christine Wittkopp, Nurse Unit Manager at Healesville Hospital said the wellness garden would have a range of benefits for her patients.
“We know that viewing or being in nature produces positive changes in a patient’s blood pressure, heart activity, muscle tension and brain activity,” she said.
“While we have a fantastic outlook towards Mt St Leonard, the current space overlooking this area provides a perfect backdrop for a healing environment for our community.
“Being able to build a beautiful wellness garden with Mt St Leonard in the background, will bring nature directly to our patients and their families, and create a space that invites further exploration,” Ms Wittkopp said.
Healesville Hospital said the garden will provide patients with a safe space to breathe the fresh mountain air, spend quality time with their loved ones, have a break from being inside their hospital ward and give them a quiet place for reflection.
There have been significant contributions already to the garden, but fundraising needs to continue to complete the project.
Eastern Health Foundation is raising money to make the wellness garden a reality, with the fundraising campaign running until July.
Donations can be made to the foundation by calling 03 9895 4608 or online at https://www.easternhealth.org.au and clicking on ‘Areas of need’.
It is the hospital’s hope to complete the major landscaping in time for planting in September.